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Encyclopedia > Preston Tucker
Preston Thomas Tucker
Preston Thomas Tucker

Preston Thomas Tucker (September 21, 1903December 26, 1956) was an American automobile designer and entrepreneur. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (414x795, 250 KB) Preston Tucker Photograph courtesy of The Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (414x795, 250 KB) Preston Tucker Photograph courtesy of The Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc. ... September 21 is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years). ... 1900 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... December 26 is the 360th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 361st in leap years. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Karl Benzs Velo (vélo means bicycle in French) model (1894) - entered into the first automobile race 2005 MINI Cooper S. An automobile (also motor car or simply car) is a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own motor. ...


He is most remembered for his 1948 Tucker Torpedo, an innovative automobile which was unsuccessful, but which introduced many features that have since become widely used in modern cars. His legacy was documented in the 1988 movie, Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Starring Jeff Bridges, the film was produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... 1948 Tucker Torpedo cars on display at the Gilmore Car Museum A Tucker Torpedo at the Blackhawk Auto Museum Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tucker vehicles See also Preston Tucker The Tucker Torpedo was an advanced automobile conceived by Preston Tucker and briefly produced in Chicago, Illinois in 1948. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Tucker: The Man and his Dream is a 1988 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Jeff Bridges which tells the story of Preston Tucker and his attempt to produce and market the Tucker 48. ... Jeffrey Leon Bridges (born December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... George Walton Lucas, Jr. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Contents

Early life and career

Tucker was born in Capac, Michigan, and is remembered for his charming personality. He repaired an old car and sold it at the age of 16, combining his charm and his love for automobiles. He later joined the Lincoln Park police department to get access to the high-performance automobiles they used[citation needed]. His mother convinced him to seek employment on the Ford assembly line in Dearborn, but Tucker quickly returned to his more exciting job as a police officer. He was demoted for installing a heater in the dashboard of his car, and quit for good. Tucker's next career was as a car salesman. He was successful in selling cars at a Michigan dealership and soon became the manager of a luxury car dealership in Memphis, Tennessee. and he was gay!!!! Capac is a village located in St. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Lincoln Park is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... Ford Motor Company, (Fomoco on mechanical parts), is an American multinational corporation and the worlds third largest automaker based on vehicle sales in 2005. ... Location in Michigan Coordinates: Country United States State Michigan County Wayne County  - Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. ... For other uses, see Memphis (disambiguation). ...


Entrepreneur

With this new financial success, Tucker began an annual journey to the Indianapolis 500. His enthusiasm for automobiles again getting the better of him, Tucker convinced Harry Miller, maker of more Indy 500-winning engines than any other in those years, to join him in building race cars, and Miller and Tucker, Inc was formed in 1935. The company's first job was building 10 souped-up Ford V-8 racers for Henry Ford. The time to develop and test the cars was insufficient, however, and the steering boxes on all entrants overheated and locked up, causing them to drop out of the race. The design was later perfected by privateers, with examples running at Indy through 1948. Miller and Tucker, Inc moved to Indianapolis and continued race car development and construction until Miller's death in 1943. Indy 500 redirects here. ... Harry Arminius Miller (1875-1943) was an American mechanic who ran a race car shop that built and repaired race cars for the Indianapolis 500 race. ...


Tucker moved back to California intending to start his own auto company. He soon began designing a narrow-wheelbase armored combat car for the U.S. government. The car could reach over 115 mph (185 km/h), far in excess of the design specifications. It was rejected; however, the highly-mobile, power-operated gun turret the combat car featured earned the interest of the U.S. Navy. The Tucker Turret was soon in production (initially at Tucker's Ypsilanti, MI shop); it was used in PT boats, landing craft, and B-17 and B-29 bombers. During World War II, Tucker became associated with Andrew Jackson Higgins, builder of Liberty ships, PT boats and landing craft. Higgins acquired Tucker Aviation Corporation (formed in 1940) in March of 1942, and Tucker served as a vice-president of Higgins Industries, specifically in charge of the Higgins-Tucker Aviation division. This entity was to produce gun turrets, armament and engines for Higgin's torpedo boats. Tucker severed his association with Higgins in 1943. (See: Andrew Jackson Higgins and The Boats That Won World War II, Strahan, LSU Press, 1994) Polish armoured car Korfanty in 1920. ... Turret (highlighted) attached to a tower on a baronial building in Scotland In architecture, a turret is a small tower that projects from the wall of a building, such as a medieval castle or baronial house. ... PT boats in line astern. ... Landing craft Rapière LCU 1656 departs USS Bataan (LHD-5) well deck during Hurricane Katrina relief operations. ... The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is an American four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the US Army Air Corps (USAAC). ... The Boeing B-29 Superfortress (Boeing Model 341/345) was a four-engine heavy bomber flown by the United States Army Air Force. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Andrew Jackson Higgins (28 August 1886 – 1 August 1952) was the founder and owner of Higgins Industries, the New Orleans-based manufacturer of Higgins boats (LCVPs) during World War II. General Dwight Eisenhower is quoted as saying, Andrew Higgins . ...


The 1948 Tucker Sedan

A Tucker '48 Sedan patent illustration.
A Tucker '48 Sedan patent illustration.

Main article: 1948 Tucker Sedan Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1004x661, 406 KB) Source: United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) ARC Identifier: 594674 [2] Creator: U.S. District Court for the South Bend Division of the Northern District of Indiana Description: This item served as an exhibit in a... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1004x661, 406 KB) Source: United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) ARC Identifier: 594674 [2] Creator: U.S. District Court for the South Bend Division of the Northern District of Indiana Description: This item served as an exhibit in a... A 1948 Tucker Sedan at the Blackhawk Auto Museum. ... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which... A 1948 Tucker Sedan at the Blackhawk Auto Museum. ...


Studebaker was the first automobile company with an all-new post-war model. But Tucker, with his newly founded Tucker Corporation, took a different tack, designing a safety car with innovative features (some taken from aircraft) and futuristic, aerodynamic styling. His specifications called for a rear engine, disc brakes, fuel injection, the location of all instruments within the diameter of the steering wheel, and a padded dashboard. Studebakers Lazy S logo, designed by Raymond Loewy, was used from the 1950s until 1966 The worlds largest living sign was planted at the Studebaker Proving Grounds, west of South Bend, Indiana. ... In auto racing, a safety car (known in America as the pace car) is a car which limits the speed of competing cars on a racetrack in the case of a major accident or obstruction on the track. ... In Automobile design, an RR, or Rear-engine, Rear wheel drive, layout places both the engine and drive wheels at the rear of the vehicle. ... Close-up of a disc brake on a car On automobiles, disc brakes are often located within the wheel The disc brake is a device for slowing or stopping the rotation of a wheel. ... // Fuel injection is a means of metering fuel into an internal combustion engine. ...


However, what looked visionary on paper was less successful in practice. Two examples: the mechanical fuel injection on the helicopter engines that Tucker used required frequent maintenance by skilled mechanics, and the disc brakes were hard to engage due to high pedal pressure.


Famed stylist Alex Tremulis, previously of Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg, was hired on December 24, 1946 and given just six days to finalize the design. On December 31, 1946, Tucker approved the design, which would come to be popularly known as the "Tucker Torpedo". He had also hired another firm to create an alternate body, but only the horizontal taillight bar from that model appeared on the final car. Auburn was a brand name of United States automobiles from 1900 through 1937. ... A 1929 Cord L-29 Phaeton on display at the 2005 United States Grand Prix Cord L-29. ... A 1929 Duesenberg j350 Willoughby on display at the 2005 United States Grand Prix 1930 Duesenberg J Walker Legrande Torpedo Phaeton 1932 Duesenberg J Murphy-bodied coupe convertible Wikimedia Commons has more media related to: Duesenberg vehicles Duesenberg was a US-based luxury automobile company active from the 1910s until... December 24 is the 358th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (359th in leap years). ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ...


Demise of Tucker Corporation

Preston Tucker waves to the crowd after speaking at a press conference.
Preston Tucker waves to the crowd after speaking at a press conference.

One of Tucker's most innovative business ideas caused trouble for the company, however. His Accessories Program raised funds by selling accessories before the car was even in production. The son of the patent attorney to the Wright Brothers, Harry Aubrey Toulmin, Jr., and the then-chairman of the board of the Tucker Corporation, blew the whistle in a September 26, 1947 letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In the letter, Toulmin Jr. indicated that he quit "because of the manner in which Preston Tucker is using the funds obtained from the public through sale of stock." He went on to say that President Tucker had ignored persistent requests that the $15 million "be spent and administered under… controls normal to legitimate business." Described as "a tall, dark, delightful, but inexperienced boy," by Toulmin Jr. to news personnel, Toulmin Jr. added that the Tucker 48 machine does not actually run, it just goes "chug-chug" and "I don't know if it can back up." Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x887, 609 KB) Preston Tucker speaking at a press conference. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x887, 609 KB) Preston Tucker speaking at a press conference. ... The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871–January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867–May 30, 1912), were two Americans generally credited with building the first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered, heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903. ... Harry Aubrey Toulmin, Sr. ... The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, commonly referred to as the SEC, is the United States governing body which has primary responsibility for overseeing the regulation of the securities industry. ...


In reply, Tucker stated that he had asked Toulmin to resign "to make way for a prominent man now active in the automobile industry." The "prominent man" turned out to be Preston Tucker himself.


Tucker's innovative business idea was investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States Attorney, and led to an indictment of Tucker and six other Tucker Corporation executives for fraud on June 10, 1949. It has been suggested that Executive Office for United States Attorneys be merged into this article or section. ... In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: ) is a formal charge of having committed a most serious criminal offense. ... June 10 is the 161st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (162nd in leap years), with 204 days remaining. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ...


The trial began on October 4, 1949; coincidentally, Tucker Corporation's factory was shuttered by the government on the very same day. All told 37 Tucker '48s had been built; 13 were later finished from parts stores for a total production of 50 cars (not including the prototype). At trial the government contended that Tucker never intended to produce a car. October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ...


A former Tucker employee, engineer Frank Millender Kincaid, agreed with this allegation. He later said that the company never bought production machinery, leading to his suspicion that Tucker never intended to build the car, or at least was so over his head in the project that Tucker could not handle the massive undertaking and simply gave up. This, despite the fact that Tucker had the largest factory building under one roof (the former Chicago Dodge plant that had been used for manufacture of aircraft engines during the war and leased to Tucker by the US government). The suspicion that the Tucker enterprise was a sham and headed for inevitable disaster led Mr. Kincaid, by his own statement, to quit the company. Tucker had 50 cars that he called "prototypes", each one hand built. Unlike production vehicles, these cars featured numerous running engineering changes, resulting in many detail differences.


After the Christmas recess, the trial turned in Tucker's favor. It went to the jury on January 22, 1950, and Tucker and the other executives were acquitted on all charges just seventeen hours later. However, Tucker Corporation, now without a factory, was no more. January 22 is the 22nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Tucker's defense attorney William T. Kirby later became Chairman of the Board of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. William T. Kirby (1911-1990), a founding member of the board of directors of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, suggested that the MacArthur Foundation create the Fellows Program. ... The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution. ...


The location of the former Tucker Corporation at 7401 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL 60629-5818, is now the corporate headquarters of Tootsie Roll Industries and the Ford City shopping mall (the name owing to ownership of the building for a time by Ford Motor Company). The building is so large that it was split in two, and even with a large open area between the two resulting buildings, each structure is still substantial. A patriotic advertisement for Tootsie Rolls during World War I For information about the hip-hop song Tootsee Roll, see 69 Boyz. ...


Today, remaining original stock certificates for Tucker Corporation common stock, circa 1947, are valuable to collectors, and are worth more than when originally issued at their then share prices. (Source: Catalogued with an estimated value of between $ 2000 -$ 3000 by W. M. Smythe & Co. in New York City in 2003.) Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC, City That Never Sleeps, The Concrete Jungle, The City So Nice They Named It Twice Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1676 Government  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Later life

Preston Tucker's reputation rebounded after the acquittal. Investors from Brazil even approached him about building a sports car, the "Carioca". But he died from cancer before the project saw fruition. Otto Kerner, the US Attorney who had aggressively investigated Tucker for fraud, ironically became the first Federal appellate judge in history to be jailed—for stock fraud. 1963 Jaguar E-Type, a classic sports car A sports car is an automobile designed for performance driving. ... Carioca is an adjective in the Portuguese language that refers to people or things from (i. ... Otto Kerner, Jr. ... It has been suggested that Executive Office for United States Attorneys be merged into this article or section. ... The United States courts of appeals (or circuit courts) are the mid-level appellate courts of the United States federal court system. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


External links

  • Tucker History and Photos - The Man and his Dream.

  Results from FactBites:
 
My Classic Car Television with Dennis Gage (561 words)
In 1948, Tucker shook the automotive world by founding his own company to sell "The Most Completely New Car in Fifty Years." The car, a fastback, four-door sedan, utilized technological advances gained in World War II and was clearly ahead of its time in terms of styling.
In 1949, Tucker and seven associates were tried for conspiracy and fraud, but were acquitted in 1950 after what the jury termed a farce proceeding.
Preston Tucker himself tried to regroup after moving to Brazil, planning a two-seat sports car called the "Carioca." Tucker was never able to pursue that dream, however, dying in December, 1956 at the age of 53.
Preston Tucker Biography | Encyclopedia of World Biography (1757 words)
Preston Thomas Tucker was born September 21, 1903, on a peppermint farm in rural Capac, Michigan.
Tucker himself hinted darkly that the Big Three automakers and their supporters were behind the attempt to destroy him because of the threat he represented to their domination of the market.
However, Tucker was left bankrupt and with his reputation in tatters; as a result, he was forced to sell his remaining assets, including the 51 vehicles that had been completed before the plant was shuttered.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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